Latest articles


Canola Growers calls for co-ordinated food policy

The national rethink of food policy is a perfect opportunity to get rid of a conflicting regulatory and promotional mishmash

The federal government needs to get its house in order if it wants an effective national food policy. In particular it needs to provide more co-ordinated policies for farmers, according to Jack Froese, president of the Canadian Canola Growers Association, speaking recently to the Commons agriculture committee in Ottawa. The problem isn’t a lack of […] Read more


Morneau pulls back on tax changes

The government says it will consult with farmers and other small businesses on intergenerational transfers

The federal government is withdrawing several controversial tax changes and will consult with farmers and other small businesses on rules that could make intergenerational transfers of family enterprises simpler, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced Oct. 19. He capped a week of backing down on tax changes affecting farmers, fishers and other small businesses by announcing […] Read more



Ritz leaves lasting legacy

The colourful and often controversial agriculture minister undoubtedly left his mark

In time Gerry Ritz will receive his due for his accomplishments as federal agriculture minister, an eight-year stint that marked the agri-food sector’s emergence from obscurity to growing recognition as a powerhouse of the Canadian economy. Although Ritz handily held his riding in the 2015 election and switched to being international trade critic, being in […] Read more


CETA takes effect as ag frets details

Significant barriers remain to any real progress in accessing 
the European market for food products

With a flurry of press releases and a ceremony at the Port of Montreal, a new chapter in Canada’s economic history has begun to unfold as Canada’s trade deal with Europe came into effect. The Canada-Europe Trade Agreement (CETA) took provisional effect Sept. 21, even as the third round of the NAFTA renegotiations kicked off […] Read more



CFIA turns 20 with no fanfare

Founding executive says he’s surprised there wasn’t at least some notice of the milestone

In this year of celebrating Canadian anniversaries, one has passed by with almost no notice. Well at least until Ron Doering pointed out that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, which he helped create, passed its 20th anniversary in April. Doering led the team of federal officials who drafted the plan in 1995 to extract food […] Read more


First NAFTA renegotiating session concludes in a swirl of rumours

There was little concrete coming out of the first round of bargaining

The first round of NAFTA renegotiations has produced a guarded statement from the three countries and a swirl of rumours about what was discussed and what might emerge in the coming weeks. Held in Washington in mid-August, the meetings saw trade representatives from Canada, Mexico and the U.S. reopen the trade pact for the first […] Read more



Poultry boards not letting their guard down as NAFTA preparations begin

The U.S. has a healthy trade surplus with Canada for eggs and poultry

Dairy may be getting all the attention in the upcoming NAFTA negotiations, but the chicken, egg and turkey boards aren’t letting their guard down as talks begin in mid-August. “The government has been clear in its support for supply management and we are confident it will continue to support and protect supply management during the negotiations […] Read more


Ottawa announced details of CETA assistance

Transition programs will assist farmers adapt to an expected influx of European cheese

With the European free trade deal CETA set to launch next month, Ottawa is smoothing out a few wrinkles. The federal government has backed down a bit in a dispute with the European Union over the allocation of new tariff-free cheese imports. It also said it would start accepting applications Aug. 22 from dairy farmers […] Read more



Hands experimenting with wheat in a laboratory

Farm support programs undergo changes

But some farm leaders say more is needed

Growing Forward 2 will transform into the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) next year with some changes to the existing Business Risk Management (BRM) programs, the federal and provincial agriculture ministers agreed at their annual summer meeting July 19-21. The ministers also agreed to calls from farm groups for a full review of the BRM programs […] Read more